A Stranger Made Familiar By The Places They Went To

This was first published on SubSelfie.com

On May 25, 2012, Che Gurrobat, the blogger behind Backpacking Pilipinas, wrote:

The world will not stop for a girl with a broken heart. Tomorrow the sun will continue to rise and shine, rock stars will continue staging sold-out concerts, football superstars will continue striking goals, verdict will be cast on to the Chief Justice on trial, somewhere a mother will give birth to another baby, my bills at home will continue to arrive monthly, and my goal to do 80 provinces before I turn 30 will have to be done. I realize that no matter how intense the quandary I am in now, life goes on.

She wrote that on her flight home from Davao. It was the end of nine years of her relationship. But it was only the 30th of the 80 Philippine provinces she had pledged to visit before she was 30 years old.

Life goes on, and so should her journey.

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The Parable Of The Watershed

This is the original draft of the report that was published on GMA News Online

Dave Azurin’s resume is not a piece of paper. It is a 1,500 hectare-forest with 765,000 trees.

Sixteen years ago, experts described the La Mesa watershed at the heart of Quezon City “totally disturbed.” The watershed was turning brown due to slash-and-burn farming (kaingin), and informal settlers increased through years, turning it into an urban jungle and leaving the natural forest cover to a distant memory.

Azurin tells this story as if he was telling a tragic tale of a child he lost — and the story of its redemption like he saw that child revived in front of his very eyes.

It was 1999 and Azurin was hired to head the reforestation efforts of the 2,000-hectare forest.

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